Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Thoughts about blogs


Thank you so much for all the entries on my book giveaway over the last few days. It was really lovely to read all your comments. The eyes-closed-and-pointy-finger-while-scrolling method means that the winner here on my blog was Fran Apolon (do get in touch with your address, Fran), and over on Instagram, @nickifranklin_needlework.

After a bumpy start (you can read more here if you're interested and didn't catch my last post), I'm delighted to say that my book is now finally available in all the usual places. If you'd like a copy and want to shop online, here are a few links: Amazon UK, Book Depository, Waterstones or Foyles, otherwise it's lovely if you'd like to request a copy at your local bookshop or library. I am so grateful to the UK arm of my publisher who went the extra mile to get my book back in stock so quickly. The photo above, by the way, is part of the quilt pattern that features in my book.

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Moving on, some scattered thoughts about blogs and blogging. A few months ago, I had an email from a reader that began: "I know housekeeping is something everyone hates but could I put in a polite request for you to check and update the links to other blogs? I just tried out three at random. Only one is still current, with one being a blog that has been removed and another is no longer current." I didn't have time to look into it right away, but recently I took some time out to click through the links in my sidebar. Many of the blog names there felt like old friends and I can still remember a time when they were updated several times a week, so it came as a shock to realise that many hadn't actually posted since 2015.

Many of those bloggers I now follow on Instagram, so I hadn't had a true sense of them going missing (more just a sense of my feedreader having less and less content) but I was sad to realise that one by one so many had abandoned their blogs. It felt like the end of an era realising this. For anyone on intimate terms with every scene of Dirty Dancing (my sister and I spent our teenage years ensuring we were), at this point you can think of me as Max Kellerman, the owner of Kellerman's Holiday Resort standing stage left, saying: You think kids want to come with their parents and take fox-trot lessons? Trips to Europe, that's what the kids want. Twenty-two countries in three days. It feels like it's all slipping away. (But we all know what happens shortly after he utters those rueful words: Johnny Castle comes and takes Baby out of the corner and sweeps Max Kellerman's nostalgia-fuelled misery to one side as the dance floor becomes a wonderous hotbed of wild moves and gyrating dancers of all ages. It has to be one of the best scenes in the history of film-making, even though I can hear my husband in my head vehemently disputing this as I type. But I have never trusted his judgment on this matter; anything that makes your cheeks ache from over-smiling as you watch it has to be good, no?)

But why does it even matter if blogs disappear when the same sense of community and friendships being built across the globe is on offer at Instagram? Well, in many ways it doesn't, but as I seem to have an abundance of thoughts around the subject, I thought I might share some of them here. To clarify, I am a most enthusiastic Instagram user, but as it's primarily Instagram that seems to have taken the place of many blogs (and the frequency of blog posts....I know I used to write more here before it existed), an element of comparison naturally creeps in when discussing this, but it's not intended to an either/or argument...more highlighting why I'm in favour of using both.


Increasingly, I'm trying to think of things not in terms of how much instant enjoyment something might offer, but more in terms of the residual feeling that doing that thing leaves me with. When I think about it in those terms, the things that leave me relaxed, happy and fulfilled can actually be boiled down to a relatively simple list: spending time with family and friends, walking Nell, reading books, writing, sewing, photography, eating scrambled eggs at my favourite coffee shop, listening to podcasts and audio books, cooking, pottering in the garden, and yes, writing my blog and reading other people's blogs too. Although I really love Instagram and social media while I'm actually using them, the residual feeling they leave me with is of having done things fast - as though I've attended a big party where I've stopped to talk to people for a few minutes, while flipping backwards and forwards simultaneously having different conversations with other people also at the party. It's fun, but its freneticism means there will probably always be room in my life for slower-paced mediums, like blogs, too.

In terms of how I view people's work on Instagram, while it's a delicious pool of awe and inspiration, it's also easy to scroll past something never knowing the meaning behind it, the process or journey the maker went on as they made it or what was going on around them as they sewed and what they were thinking, simply because it isn't the right medium for sharing the whole story. Without those things, I think the work seems to lose some of its value for the onlooker. There might be clues in the photos surrounding the picture of their finished quilt if you stop to click through to their profile and look, but it's harder to link all those things together from the default scrolling position. Divorced from these things, it's easy for amazing works of art or beautifully crafted clothing to carry less weight and for us to be less invested in their story as an onlooker. When people make things, it's all the geeky details that I want to hear about...somehow that doesn't happen in the same way on Instagram. To me, the mixture of words, photos and more words offers another layer that invites people in a little more.

I also think blogs offer something special in terms of their format - the banner, side bars and layout make every blog unique - when I arrive at one it feels like I've called in at a friend's house where I'm fondly familiar with their sofa and wallpaper...they might not have updated those things for over a decade, but there's something lovely in that. With Instagram, our photos sit within their brand's framework of evenly spaced squares against a white background - it's enormously appealing from an aesthetic point of view, but doesn't offer the same feeling of visiting someone's house.

And in terms of being the actual poster, I love spending an hour or two writing a blog post - thinking back over a project or formulating my thoughts into some kind of order that's fit for sharing with others (debatable at times, but I try). I rarely know what I'm going to write about when I sit down, so it's always a surprise to find out what's been sitting in my head bubbling away without my even realising. And sometimes, I'll wonder when something happened and search for the answer on my blog and in rereading the old post I'm reminded of a thousand tiny details that would have been lost forever in the sieve of my memory had I not recorded them here.

And then there's the issue of ownership and control. On Instagram, I've chosen to follow particular people because I want to keep in touch with what they're making and what's happening in their life, but invariably Instagram allows only a limited number of those people to show up in my feed and when they do the content is often several days old (it's strange to see people hopefully placing their vote two days after election results have been announced). When I check into someone's profile directly, I often find I've missed the most amazing things because Instagram's algorithm has chosen not to show it to me, which seems a real shame as it stops me from building up a complete picture of who that person is and how their projects have unfolded and developed.


My feeling is that the main issue with blogs is that it's more time-consuming to leave a comment - I'm guilty myself of leaving so many more comments on people's instagram photos than on blogposts...I wish the blogging platforms would make some changes to simplify that, as I'm sure that's part of the problem. A case in point is the giveaway at the top of this post: there were 444 entries over on Instagram and 107 over here on my blog.

I know services like Bloglovin' allow people to comment within their blog reading platform, but I'm not sure that's a solution - it's not always easy to keep track of comments there and it feels sad to take the conversation away from the home of the actual blog - I love the conversations that begin in the comments section here and I like that they're all still there for people to read through when they look through my archives, rather than split up over different locations that aren't a part of my blog. And how to keep up with replying to comments on all those possible platforms too?

So, with that rather random collection of thoughts on the page, let's return to talk of the sidebar and the original request for housekeeping. My links list has always been divided into four types of blog: quilting, dressmaking, general sewing goodness, and 'other things', so I set about visiting each blog in these sections and deleting them from my sidebar if they hadn't posted for several months. There were some that were harder to do this for than others...and I actually allowed myself to leave two in there, on the basis that they are pieces of history, excellent resources irrespective of how recently they've posted, and also because I'm not willing quite yet to let go of the idea that they might actually return to their blogs. By the end of this exercise, some of these sections had only one blog left standing though.

But when I stopped to think about it, I realised that many of my favourite bloggers were still writing on blogs that I'd somehow never added to my sidebar, so I started putting them in and it was one of those strange mind webs where more and more names popped into my head and I discovered that many had blogs I either didn't know about or wasn't following in my feedreader. If you want to take a look at my links list now (scroll down all the way past the patterns and tutorials in the left-hand column), you'll find it updated with so much goodness and I've added in a little widget that shows when people last posted so that you can also see instantly if there's anything new. When I first started blogging, I actually used to use the links list on my blog in place of a feedreader (I don't think such a thing actually existed until about eight years ago...or maybe I just hadn't discovered them).

So, although so many blogs have disappeared, there are still lots of good ones around and I've noticed an increasing number of people saying recently that they've realised they're missing writing their blogs and are thinking of starting them back up again. It feels like Johnny Castle really could be about to burst through the doors and take Baby out of the corner.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on all this (although I'm not sure I can enter into a reasonable debate about the merits of Dirty Dancing...my mind is not for changing on that).

Florence x

76 comments:

  1. Can you hear my amen?! Although I realize I haven't blogged in awhile. And the last year or two my post have been lacking in substance. I haven't replaced blogging with instragram, but just find I don't have the energy to share my thoughts. Writing is so rewarding but also very exhausting for me.

    I've always loved the thought of my blog as a journal. I miss all the interesting reading I used to find on quilting blogs, and always enjoy reading yours!

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    1. Thank you so much Jolene. I can totally relate to not having the energy to do it - I go through phases with it and sometimes life just feels too busy to fit it in (and that's where Instagram feels quicker and easier). I've just visited your blog for the first time - you make such beautiful quilts. I hope you do eventually find the energy...although having last blogged back in April 2018, that still feels quite current compared to many blogs :) x

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    2. Looking through your posts, I've now realised that totally isn't the first time I've visited your blog. x

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  2. I'm not a really blogger (other than a family blog) but i admin some blogs and i read my long list of blogs daily (in Feedly). I love reading in-depth about artists' processes and thoughts, more than just looking at images with short comments. I enjoy learning most of all.

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    1. I've never used Feedly, but it's always nice to hear where people are reading from. Yes, me too - that's exactly what I love to find on a blog.

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  3. I look forward to your blog posts and actually get excited when there is a new one. I have loved your writing since I first happened upon your blog. You add interesting content and I love your sense of humor. My husband and I have enjoyed your Netflix recommendations and although I own very few books, I am buying yours. EPP is my favorite method of sewing and your designs are inspiring. Thank you for telling us about your updated list of blogs. I will check them out because sadly, I've stopped reading many that are full of pop up advertisements and miss the ones that no longer posts. You are wonderful and inspiring! Thank you for the time and effort you take with your blog. Linda - a fan in Texas!

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    1. Oh, that's so lovely to hear - thank you, Linda. I don't know if you have Amazon Prime, but over there, my favourite things to watch recently have been This is Us (which I think is probably on regular television in the States?) and also Brothers and Sisters, which has a similar feel. x

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  4. I love my blog, but I'm not up to blogging at the moment. One day, I will be and it'll be there waiting for me. I still use it for my Finish-Along lists, so maybe I need to set aside time to write a short post each week, rather than my usual rambling posts? Hmmmm...something to ponder while I claw back some energy, so thanks for that, Florence! (I often hark back to the heyday of blogs and Flickr and Google Reader, and I hope you're right and that blogs are making a comeback. You're definitely right about them being harder to comment on when you're not on a computer, though... *sighs* Maybe I could go back to reading blogs on my laptop while eating my breakfast at the kitchen table?)

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear you're feeling so lacking in energy at the moment, Helen. I hope you feel more lively soon, with or without blog writing.

      Yes, I think maybe it's phones that have made it harder to comment, isn't it. Smart phones didn't even widely exist ten years ago when I first started blogging and they've really changed everything - I too now mostly read blogs on my phone, but perhaps the solution is indeed to switch back to my laptop. Thank you for the idea :) x

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  5. I started my blog as a personal record of things I had made. I thought two or three other people might be interested to see what I’ve made, but I never expected to have as many readers as I now do. I don’t write eloquently (I’m an accountant), but I include pretty pictures, and note all the important information - quilt size, where the pattern is from etc. it’s a great personal record that I can look back on when I try remember the details about a particular quilt.
    I’ve met so many people who tell me they read my blog (even though they don’t comment). I enjoy documenting my Quilting journey, and I’ll continue to do it even if no one else reads it.
    As with most things, it’s the hardy types that remain. The “fly by nighters” have been and gone, and it’s the dedicated people who are left blogging.

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    1. Yes, I guess part of the longevity of a blog is about whether you're doing it for yourself or some other reason. Like you, I'm primarily writing for myself and just really love it if others want to read. I've just followed your lovely blog - thank you for leaving a comment. x

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  6. I love to read certain blogs (including yours) and will stalk them for recent posts. They feel more like having a chat with a friend over a cup of tea and Instagram is that quick wave and a promise to get together soon when dropping kids off at the school gates.

    I'm so pleased to have won, especially as my copy arrived today and I just put it down to corrale my son into bed. My email address is f.apolon@hotmail.co.uk

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    1. Yes, it's exactly that, isn't it. And thank you - I hope your mum enjoys the book. x

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  7. I am very much a lover of blogs, I love to catch up with my favourites and read them for inspiration. However, I have yet to go onto Instagram. x

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    1. If you haven't already, in some ways, I'd stick with blogs. Although I love instagram, I do think that the more social media I use, the less free time I have for making/truly relaxing....in many ways I wish we could reverse things to about ten years ago and just stop there!

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  8. I love reading blogs and really appreciate the time bloggers take in writing them. I am often inspired or given food for thought. I like Instagram too but much prefer the article format of blogs and they usually have the nice photos too.

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  9. Thankyou for reflecting on the differences beware blogging and instagram. I love sharing the journey you share and the welcome - your support for a centered ( I hope that’s a word) approach to living always give my day a great start. ( I am down under and generally read your blogs as part of my getting ready to start the day)

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    1. Centred is probably exactly the word I'd aspire to get across (and to try and strive for in my own life...it's a wobbly path)! And I love knowing that you're reading my blog over breakfast while I'm asleep! x

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  10. I hear you! After almost 10 years, I still blog though not as often as I used to. Instagram is lovely and I do enjoy scrolling through while sitting on the couch with my family in the evening, but reading blogs makes me happier.

    I also like to go back through by blog and see what was happening at certain points in my life. It's searchable in ways that Instagram isn't.

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    1. I'm discovering so many lovely new-to-me blogs in the comments to this post - thank you for leaving a comment :)

      And yes, I really love that too - I've lost count of the number of times I've discovered what year something happened or the name of a paint colour by referencing my own blog.

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  11. I concur! On a materialistic side note, I think IG has replaced blogs for many as an income generator. Many of the IG I followed have become business rather than personal profiles with a more curated glossy image selection. The blogs that many do follow are again, the more business focused, glossy, well organised type rather than they idiosyncratic content that was around on lots of creative blogs a few years ago. There is always change I guess.

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    1. I agree - I think that's definitely the case. Although it worries me as Facebook encouraged businesses to build up a following on their platform for years and now charge them to have their posts seen by those followers they worked so hard to get (and often paid to get....so now they're paying twice). I imagine their long-term plan is to do the same with Instagram. I don't object to Facebook/Instagram making money, but I find it unnerving that businesses (particularly small ones) can have the rug pulled from under them suddenly like that, so I guess in that way, I'm still in favour of blogs as followers have a bit more autonomy over whether they see your posts or not. I think the move to let people have business or personal accounts on Instagram was their first building block toward that. I've stuck with a personal account as the only benefit I can see of being a business on there is access to stats and metrics, which I don't follow too much anyway.

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    2. Exactly, I've done the same.

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  12. I love this blog post! You are so good to take the time to write SO MUCH! I have to admit that I do skim a little sometimes due to time constraints but I really love that you take the time and effort to craft your posts. And that's one of the reasons I am still writing my blog and probably always will, it's all about communication, expressing yourself and sharing with others, which is why I started my blog in the first place. I love to tell the stories behind my quilts and other projects and I love the process of actually 'writing' (I nearly became a journalist!), I see it as another craft I enjoy, the same as sewing or crochet. It does also bind our community together in a way that IG can't. So happy to see my blog in your sidebar!

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    1. I love that you've put that as a marker of my goodness Jo, when really it's just that I'm incapable of being concise and love writing too much not to do it! I think our reasons for blogging are pretty much identical :)

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  13. I really enjoyed reading this post especially the discussion about the residual happiness that slower content such as blogs leaves you with.

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  14. I don't do Instagram, as I don't possess a smartphone (I don't want to be permanently connected, I like to escape and wouldn't have a mobile phone at all if it were up to me) and as far as I know you have to have one of those to "do" it! So please keep blogging.....

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    1. Well, I know Nina (who comments fairly regularly on here, so you might recognise her name) doesn't have a smartphone either, but does use Instagram. She said it was a bit more of a faff doing it from a laptop, but perfectly useable, although I don't think you can receive direct messages without a phone....however, from your comment and knowing of your adventures, I can't imagine you actually wanting to be on Instagram, Lizzie, so it's possibly irrelevant anyway! x

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    2. Ha ha! No - I'll give it a miss.....but thank you for the info anyway.

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  15. I love my blog. I often fall off it for a time, but for me that is because I feel like blogs were supposed to be pretty and perfect and that means perfect photos, which I'm really bad at. Even though instagram is all photos I feel like I can get away with slightly less perfect photos, or at least do quirky zoom ins/staging that I wouldn't do for the blog. I also feel sad thta some of my favourite blogs don't blog anymore, and am searching for new ones to become my new bloggy friends, but I don't comment on blogs anymore because it's too hard, so those friendships don't develop as they used to.I don't have any solutions, but I thought I'd share my thoughts.
    E

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    1. So lovely to hear your thoughts, Erin. Oddly, it's the other way around for me - I feel like my photos have to be better for Instagram than my blog...possibly because it feels like the words can carry more of the weight here, because there's more room for them. However, either way, I share you thing of not having had time to take a good photo often meaning I don't write a blog post - I've lost count of the number of pieces of clothing I've made that I've never mentioned here because I didn't get around to photographing it. x

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  16. To me a blog and IG are two different mediums. I looooove IG, fell in love with it straight away years ago. I love posting, I love following. I follow accounts on all sorts of subjects, quilting of course, but also travel, food, interior decorating, (royal) jewelry, fashion etc. etc. IG to me is like putting together your own magazine (now those I do not buy anymore since IG), and that on a daily basis, there is not stopping of the entertainment, the inspiration. But it is quick, sometimes fleeting. Blogging and blogs to me are different. I follow almost only quilting blogs (just a few food bloggers as well) , to me blogs are more like books, more depth, I spend more time on them, reading them, looking at the pictures and I save some posts, to get back to later, maybe again and again, as I would with a book. I still blog, to be honest less than before (as we do have IG now and I just want to do so many things with those 24 hours in a day) , but I will not stop because it is different, it makes me sit down and go back over things, contemplate, enjoy. Glad you are still blogging, so 'see'you here and on IG. And now I have to go to Bookdepository and order your book!

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    1. I like your magazine/book comparison - I'd completely agree with that. And thank you - I hope you enjoy it when it arrives! x

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  17. I love blogging and find writing very cathartic. No matter how stressful my life is, writing always makes me feel better. I just don't think that I'd get the same satisfaction from Instagram and, although I look at it occasionally, I am trying not to have a social media 'habit'. I love reading well-written blogs and I always look forward to your posts in particular as they tend to be a bit longer and I can make a cup of tea, find a biscuit and lose myself in a happier place :)

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    1. I'm so happy to find I've been facilitating biscuit consumption, April! And well done on avoiding a social media habit from the off...it's a tough nut to achieve balance with once you've been pulled in.

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  18. That part where you said, "Although I really love Instagram and social media while I'm actually using them, the residual feeling they leave me with is of having done things fast" - Yes!! I do scan through Instagram on a pretty regular basis, but while the pictures are nice to see, it often feels like looking though a photo album in someone else's home. Plus, all the changes that have been made to only show what an algorithm that no one understands thinks I want to see left a pretty big void in instagram (and Facebook). I've found that I spend much less time there than I used to (algorithm changes backfired in my case). Instead of scrolling, I search for specific people and tags for inspiration. I'd much rather visit my favorite blogs and read about what they're doing, what they're making, how life is going, etc. Personally, I don't blog on a regular basis, though I wish I did. It's been so sweet to look back on old posts and see what I was doing a while back. Exploring other blog's archives is a fun way to see how someone has changed and grown over time and it's very difficult to go back in time on Instagram.

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    1. Yes, searching people up by name rather than scrolling is a much better way of doing it and whenever I do, I always feel I have so much more of a sense of who the person actually is - I must make more of a conscious effort to use it in that way - thank you, Tanya :)

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  19. Here here. Instagram leaves me exhausted sometimes and i have decided i need to moderate myself. Its like those Dirty Dancing era video games- Addicting! (Well, maybe other video games too but i know rhe old ones the best!)

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    1. Sonic the Hedgehog? I never had it as a child, but used to revel in it when I went to other people's houses (although was awful at it, because I didn't get enough practice!)

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  20. I understand the attraction of IG - it's fast, it's colorful, and with a phone it's super-easy - and I think your party analogy is a good one! I have an account but don't have a phone to post decent photographs from, so...I don't post anything but occasional comments. I visit about once/week when I think of it, and when people are posting photographs from events like fiber fairs that I am unable to attend - it's nice for that, as is twitter. (I DO like twitter!) But I noticed several years ago that when bloggers I had followed for years began using IG, their blogs nearly always began to fizzle out and disappear. Which is sad to me, because some of those bloggers seemed like friends, and their drifting away from blogging became similar to a friend moving away and sending captioned snapshots instead of communicating with the sort of sit-down-with-a-cup-of-tea depth that blogging encourages. I miss that.

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    1. Oh yes, that's so sad to read it like that - but I know what you mean.

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  21. I regularly read a few blogs and love the insights into other people's lives. Some of them resonate with me greatly and others don't but are a fascinating window onto another world. I have to say I rarely comment on blogs though, is that a bad thing?
    I am reluctant to sign up to Instagram as I worry it would end up being another thing to get sucked into and spare time is so precious with a young family. So thank you for sticking around!
    Helen

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    1. I'm often guilty of doing that too, so don't feel like I can be the judge of that ;)

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  22. I've been blogging for about 5 years now, initially it started as a way to share my work with my family who live away from me. I love reading blogs, because of the details the provide about projects etc, their the time I like to sit down with a cuppa and escape. IG is the quick fix.

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  23. Thanks for writing this post so beautiful. I grew up on Dirty Dancing too ;o) Loved it!
    I agree with you on blogs/IG. I must admit I got a bit tired of writing blog posts as I noticed people were not reading as much as before. But I am also getting tired of scrolling...sometimes it feels like a waste of time and as you say you're totally dependent on the algorithm...I hate not to be in control. After 8 years I guess I am starting to feel a bit of fatigue. I love sewing and getting inspired but taking pictures/editing/posting...I don't know. I am trying to make a habit of reading blogs like yours more regularly. So thanks for writing

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    1. I can totally understand that - I think as time has gone on, I've increasingly wanted to write about other things aside from sewing too...it's always surprised me though that on those posts where I've felt guilty for going off-topic, they've often ended up seeming like the most popular ones...so maybe we pigeon hole our blogs and what we feel we can write about sometimes, when perhaps we don't need to?

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  24. I so enjoyed your post. IG really is a pool of deliciousness but I feel so cheated not knowing the back story. That's what I love about blogs. When I see someone get to the quilt top stage or finished quilt on the blogging platform, then I do the victory dance with them because I have been following along with all the trials/troubles/triumphs along the way! Sometimes it feels difficult to open up and explain the process, but if I can't do that, then I might as well stop blogging altogether.:)

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    1. Yes, I completely agree. In a longer post, I feel I can explain all the intricacies of my thought processes/what went wrong/why I've taken the whole thing apart and started again and with the room to explain, not feel entirely mad sharing that with people....sometimes trying to condense that into an IG post doesn't feel like it works so well ;)

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  25. Thank you for writing your blog. And thank you for a really wonderful book, immersive as the stories, ideas, beautiful quilts, fabrics and paper-piecing steps depicted in it, a joy to read and, I know for sure, to keep re-reading.

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    1. Thank you so much, Tanya! I'm really delighted to hear that you're enjoying it. Thank you so much for buying a copy. x

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  26. I find it hard keeping my blog list on the sidebar up to date - same reasons - so many have now gone to instagram and rarely if ever blog anymore - I use feedly to keep up with my list of blogs that I read and it is constantly over 100 and I keep trying to slim it down and then add more - I do not find Instagram as well for keeping up with people

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    1. For the most part, I don't have a sense of wanting to keep my blog feeds down, but if someone posts on their blog every day or several times a day (which is really usually only larger companies or organisations) it can quickly feel like it's dominating my feed and then I'll trim down my list a little.

      I have really tried to keep who I follow on IG to a minimum though, as it feels like that way I'll have more chance of seeing those people's posts...at least that was my theory, but in practice the curious IG algorithm still wants to hide much of those from me.

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  27. I am reading your book and thoroughly enjoying it. Very well written and informative.

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  28. Hi Florence. I’ve read your post with interest as I have had a blog for a long time, and use mine as as journal but always keep a link on my Instagram account so if anyone would want to see my blog they ca. I have a very small following and readership has fallen but doesn’t really matter to me. I know that I’ve been able to refer back to it when I need to.
    I think things are so much more instant now with mobile devices and Google hasn’t really kept up with this, for instance I used to be able to use a Blogger app to write posts but that was withdrawn so have to use the computer to update posts or pay for an app to do this. If this is the same with others it’s maybe why blogs have been abandoned.
    Thanks for an interesting article

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    1. I'd no idea that we used to be able to write blog posts from a mobile, but I can imagine if that's a feature you used a lot, then it could really affect your enthusiasm for blogging. What a shame.

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  29. I've come to visit through a link shared on Audrey's blog -- and I'm so glad I stopped by! I am a blogger at heart - through and through, now and forever. I use IG but only as a trigger for readers to visit the blog for the whole story. And honestly, I left FB last year and I'm thinking about leaving IG because of the algorithm nonsense and the increasingly frequent ads. I'd rather put my energy into the blog and keep it interesting and fresh for my loyal readers. I post only from my computer with the real keyboard since I despise one-finger typing on the phone/tablet - and I realize many readers are abandoning their desktop models which definitely limits their willingness to leave comments (sad but true). I use Bloglovin btw but comment only ON the blogs, never on their platform since so many bloggers never see those comments. I love context, process, and the stories behind the process and IG simply cannot convey those. Thank you for this thoughtful post - I'm off now to add your blog to my list of must-reads.

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely and thoughtful comment. I'm the same - typing on my phone makes my fingers itch. I bought a blue-tooth keyboard to try and make it simpler to do things from my phone, but in reality, often the comment box doesn't fit on the screen and the whole thing is still very fiddly.....it's such a shame that Blogger never sorted out ease of commenting. I'm really grateful that it's a free service, but I think that many of us would have been happy to contribute a small monthly fee for its upkeep.

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    2. Very well said.... And now I'm off to add you to my blog list too!

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  30. A very thoughtful post. I'm one whose blog fell by the wayside, although back when I did blog I had so much more going on in my life. That was before chronic pain from shingles hijacked my life almost 7 years ago. I do IG now because it's quick and easy...about all I can handle most days. Even those posts are getting fewer. It's funny how life gets in the way of good intentions...

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    1. Oh no, I really feel for you Carolyn - that sounds like a really hard life change to accept and live with day-to-day. Wishing you well. x

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  31. Thank you for this lovely thoughtful post! My list of blogs to read (just kept in a folder on my browser) has greatly diminished recently as I moved to a new computer and started the list again from scratch. I don't use a feed to check them, but randomly click on some from my list whenever I've a few minutes to do some blog-hopping, and I always enjoy the 'geeky details' in an in-depth sewing post or review. Instagram is great, but I don't refer back to posts in the same way I do with blogs. I'll continue to enjoy both, and will have fun exploring some of the new-to-me blogs you've added to your list!

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    1. That's a really nice way to do it - I might try doing the same thing with some of my favourites as it means I read them on my computer rather than my phone (meaning it's easier to leave a comment). Thank you. x

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  32. Hi Florence! I usually follow my blogs on Bloglovin as it's supposed to be the place to group all your blogs for easy reading etc. Then I saw this evening that a blogger mentioned there was a problem with Blogger and she wasn't getting any emails/messages from her newsfeed. Then I decided to check your blog today to see how the book giveaway went and the results etc. I read that you had 107 comments on your giveaway on your original blog page and 444 on Instagram. However, I and 16 others, posted comment/entries on Bloglovin that we weren't registered on your feed of 107 comments so we didn't actually get to partake in your giveaway at all ��. So I'm just wondering - do we need to revert to the original post that you write to make comments (like I am doing now) or is there a communication issue between Bloglovin and your home page? Just as you happened to write about blogs etc. I thought it might be appropriate to write and let you know.
    Incidentally I love your blog - you are happy, cheerful and inspiring! Thank you for all your lovely blogs! 💝

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    1. Hello, thank you for checking back :)

      I use Bloglovin' myself to read blogs too and often 'like' posts on there if I don't have time to comment as that feels a better option than nothing, but I actually feel quite affronted that Bloglovin' (not the people using Bloglovin') have taken this liberty with people's blogs and transferred the conversation to their own site without the blog author's permission.

      As far as I can tell, there isn't a way of disabling comments over on Bloglovin' (although I'd love to know if anyone has found one), which seems unfair as it puts the onus on the blogger to visit another location to reply to comments, which I've resisted doing because if more sites follow suite, I could end up having to search all over the internet in order to reply to comments.

      It seems a shame, as I like the discussions that open up in the comments section and that will get lost as comments appear in different locations.

      That's a long way of saying, I'm really sorry, I only included comments on my actual blog for the giveaway - I hope you understand.

      Yes, I'd heard about there being a problem with bloggers receiving email notifications for comments too - it's solved by the blog author logging in to blogger and going Settings>Posts, Comments & Sharing Settings and then deleting their email from the field entitled 'Email Moderation Requests to:' This then needs to be SAVED. Then visit Settings>Email and in the field entitled 'Comment Notification Email', delete the email address and SAVE. Then go to both of these locations again, enter your email address and SAVE it. That should fix it and new comments should start coming through :)

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  33. I only discovered your blog a month ago. I appreciate your writing very much! I wrote a blog for my classroom for 5 years. My boss and the few parents who viewed and read it liked that I explained not only what the children in the photo were playing, but why it was important to their development. For young children, play is work. It can be appreciated just as much as anyone's hobby/craft if you take the time to observe carefully.
    The first post of yours which I read was related to your map of the United Kingdom quilt. That quilt made me speechless! Your addendum to the source and date to solve your 'error' was priceless! You made do without tearing apart your work. Thank you for sharing your work!

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    1. Hello Gwyn, your parents must be so pleased to have you as their child's teacher - it's wonderful to get an insight into what they've been doing during the day. Somehow those photos from the times when you're not there make your heart leap a little higher as it's so lovely to see them being independent.

      I'm so pleased you liked the map post - I still remember it with a mixture of amusement and trauma...I'm hoping the latter will dissipate in time, but I was surprised by a few of the comments....it seems maps are more divisive than I'd ever imagined. I'm still tempted to make one of the world though, so it clearly hasn't dampened my spirits entirely. x

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  34. Popping over from JulieKQuilts... very interesting thoughts and well written post... thank you! I have been reevaluating this year with the Blogger changes that have caused frustration. I've been blogging for 12 years and still enjoy it for many of the reasons you listed. Thanks for sharing your ideas... lots to think about!

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    1. Which blogger changes have frustrated you? Have you struggled with the comment notifications not coming through? If so, I've suggested a fix a few comments up that worked for me (see my reply to LinkedbyThreads).

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  35. I agree with so much of this, and very timely as I'm really getting back into blogging. I've never stopped blogging for the business but I did stop posting personal projects etc. I'm so glad you're still going - I've been reading but not commenting so changing that now! <3

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    1. Oh Jen, I'm so happy to know you're still reading - I understand about the comments thing - I'm guilty of that too.

      I'm trying to do more blog reading on my laptop than my phone now, as it's so much easier to comment there (someone suggested it above in the comments) and it's working quite nicely, but it's amazed me to think how much my phone has changed things like that in subtle ways without my even realising.

      I've always loved your posts, so I'm really delighted that you're carrying on. x

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  36. Your discussions are always so thought provoking and fun to read. I love blogs so much more than any of the other platforms. Instagram is good for quick visual inspiration, but, as you say, they don't give the whole story. I, too, have been saddened as so many of my favorites have stopped blogging. I suspect, maybe, like me, their lives have just changed and time is an issue? I used to post several times a week -- now, with a full-time job and elder-care on my schedule, I struggle to post once a month. And even then, it's hard to give it the level of detail I would like. But, oh well -- I'll always try to keep posting because, for me, like you, it's a place of reference for what was going on at the time. I'm very pleased you've stuck with your blog!

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  37. I love blogs...and I'm sad so many have stopped blogging. Having said that, I have a blog that I haven't updated in forever for a variety of reasons. I'm a reader, among other things, but a lifelong love for me is reading. I'm on Instagram, and love the instant gratification thing about it.....but it will never give me the lovely feeling of reading a good blog post.💖

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

A few of the books/products that I link to on Amazon from my blog contain affiliate links and very occasionally, I'll mention a product that I've been given free of charge. I choose the things that I recommend carefully and my priority is to only share things that I love.